|Tagline||"Crashing will be the easiest thing they do today."|
"Crashing will be the easiest thing they do today."
Crash Course is the first DLC campaign for Left 4 Dead. It was free on the PC version, but cost $7.00 (formerly 560 Microsoft points) for the Xbox 360. It was released on September 29th 2009. According to Valve it is meant to bridge the gap between No Mercy and Death Toll. Crash Course is one of the shortest of any Left 4 Dead campaign and contains only two chapters.
This campaign was subsequently released for Left 4 Dead 2 on November 4th, 2011 as part of the Cold Stream DLC which also included ports of all earlier Left 4 Dead campaigns. Compared to the other ported campaigns from Left 4 Dead Crash Course is the least modified and retains most of its original layout and features.
Crash Course begins shortly after the events of No Mercy. The helicopter rescue pilot from the Rooftop Finale succumbs to the Infection and Zoey shoots him in mid-flight. The helicopter crashes in an industrial area outside of the city of Fairfield in Whitney County.
Starting from next to the helicopter crash site, the Survivors traverse Fairfield's industrial landscape. Initially there is no firm clue about their destination until they make reference to a truck depot and discuss the town of Riverside where a military evacuation center is reported to be. This plan obviously foreshadows and contextualizes the Death Toll campaign.
At the truck depot they discover an armored truck mounted on a workshop hoist which must be lowered before they can board and escape. Activating a generator for this purpose triggers a finale horde attack. In another act of foreshadowing, the generator stalls partway through the battle and one survivor must restart it: the same problem occurs in The Sacrifice, except the survivor who restarts it is certain to die.
Below is a complete list of video walkthroughs of the 2 levels:
Note that the gameplay videos are on each campaign's info page and not on each map page.
With the Cold Stream DLC mentioned above, Crash Course was edited and ported over to Left 4 Dead 2 and thus it includes all the new Infected, items and weapons. Video walkthroughs below show off the latter version of the campaign and all the changes:
Released in Crash Course
- Sometimes only one or two of the second tier weapons appear at a given spawn site.
- Alarmed cars now spawn at different locations.
- Sometimes rooms that may contain items are barricaded.
- New dialogue for Zoey, Louis, and Francis.
- 10 new Achievements.
- 2 new Survival maps.
Left 4 Dead
|Survive the Crash Course Campaign.|
|NO-ONE LEFT BEHIND||(20G)|
|Beat a campaign with all 4 Survivors.|
|All Survivors complete a campaign without being vomited on.|
|Play an entire campaign with no Survivors taking friendly fire damage.|
|DO NOT DISTURB||(20G)|
|Sneak past all Witches in a campaign without disturbing one.|
|Survive any campaign on Expert.|
|Survive a campaign without being incapacitated.|
|Finish a campaign without being healed by a first aid kit.|
|Survive a campaign with no Survivors taking damage from Special Infected.|
|Survive an entire campaign using only pistols.|
|Stun a Tank with an explosion in the Crash Course campaign.|
|Win a Versus campaign of Crash Course.|
|Restart the generator within 30 seconds of it shutting off in the Crash Course campaign.|
|THE LITTLEST GENOCIDE||(25G)|
|Kill 5,359 Infected in the Crash Course campaign.|
|JUMPIN' JACK SMASH||(25G)|
|Pounce a Survivor for 25 points of damage in the Crash Course campaign.|
|Smoker pull a bile-covered Survivor until you hold him during Crash Course.|
|20 CAR PILE-UP||(20G)|
|As a Tank hit 20 Survivors with a car in the Crash Course campaign.|
|Your team wipes all Survivors after the escape vehicle has opened in Crash Course.|
|Your team incapacitates three Survivors within five seconds in the Crash Course campaign.|
Left 4 Dead 2
|CONFEDERACY OF CRUNCHES||(30G)|
|Finish a campaign using only melee weapons.|
|THE REAL DEAL||(35G)|
|Survive a campaign on Expert difficulty with Realism mode enabled.|
|Collect 10 items dropped by a Fallen Survivor.|
- The DLC also includes a recharge timer for the Infected and new item spawn behavior.
- Crash Course is the only campaign in Left 4 Dead to start at the rescue vehicle of the previous campaign.
- The new campaign is much shorter than the others. This was a deliberate decision on the part of Valve so that players could experience a much shorter and much more intense game in Versus. Consequently, out of all the Left 4 Dead scenarios, this campaign features the highest density of Special Infected enemies, throwables, gas cans and propane tanks relative to time played and player distance covered.
- On the campaign poster, Louis and Francis are both dual-wielding with a primary weapon and a pistol. This cannot be done in-game.
- Like in other Campaign posters, Bill and Louis are holding scoped MP5 submachine guns. These weapons are not included in the game but do appear in the German version of Left 4 Dead 2.
- The body of the pilot can be found right behind propped up against a wall next to the crashed helicopter at the start of the first chapter. If anyone but Bill goes over and looks at him, their character will usually utter some remark about him. As his executioner, Zoey's epitaph is particularly cutting.
- Alarmed cars will spawn at different locations on every play through.
- The armored truck (bus) in the finale closely resembles that depicted in the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, including the cow-catcher's paint job.
- Bill did not get new lines for this campaign. When activating the generator he re-uses "Watch my back" and "I'm getting too old for this horseshit." He also says very little throughout the campaign although he might say "Get to the chopper!" when telling the people to get on the truck. Commentators have suggested that this is due to Valve being unable to contact Jim French (Bill's voice actor) in time to meet the campaign's production deadline.
- However, according to the three lines "Player.NamVet_dlc2_Generic43", "Player.NamVet_dlc2WorldFarmHouseNPC12" and "Player.NamVet_dlc2WorldSmallTownNPCBoatman11" it can be said that Jim French was meant to be there while Crash Course was in the works (or before the Chopper Pilot's "becoming infected" scene was cut from the game). This is circumstantially plausible because some lines cut from Left 4 Dead have been added in even though others were omitted.
- If the subtitles are on, all Crash Course-sensitive lines are Francis' dark gray color, regardless of speaker.
- As of the Last Stand update for Left 4 Dead 2, Louis' and Zoey's Crash Course-specific lines now use the Survivor's respective color signature.
- Crash Course's finale is the only finale in Left 4 Dead without someone actually piloting the rescue vehicle: the armored truck departs with an empty driver's seat.
- This campaign is the first to have a finale in Left 4 Dead with no radio telling players to prepare (the second being The Sacrifice). The finale compensates by giving players ample Infected-free time to get ready once they have cleared out the finale venue of random Common Infected. (Note that there is a corpse with a hand-held radio near the truck but this has no gameplay significance).
- Crash Course is the first campaign in Left 4 Dead to have Tier 2 weapon spawn points occasionally featuring only one or two, instead of the usual three, weapons.
- The Crash Course achievements "Jumpin' Jack Smash", "Slippery Pull", and "Smash Hit" are broken and will not unlock if you play on a dedicated server. There is no known cause for the issue, but programmers have speculated that Valve never updated its dedicated servers correctly. For the Xbox 360, one can unlock all the achievements for Crash Course by playing on a local server or through system link. Playing on a local server can be achieved at random, but rarely.
- There is a way to force your game into a local server by tampering with the internet connection as the game begins searching for a dedicated server. This method has been confirmed to work and requires two controllers and a wired internet connection through a router. Set up a versus lobby for Crash Course, friends only, with your 2nd controller signed in as your guest. " As you hit "start game", unplug the Ethernet cable that connects the router to the modem (NOT the connection between the console and the router). The top left corner of the screen should say "Searching for Dedicated Server." After a few seconds, the top left corner of the screen will change to "Starting Game in 5 seconds" and start counting down. Reconnect the cable to the router. Once the game has loaded, you can invite friends in. Because the game is on a local server, any achievements that are fulfilled will be unlocked.
- Progression for the "20-Car Pile Up" achievement can only be accomplished on a dedicated server. If playing on a local server, hitting survivors with a car does not count towards the achievement. Interestingly, this is the exact opposite of the three broken achievements.
- Some achievements may unlock when a player has done something completely opposite to its task — in case of Smash Hit, the game may be lost yet the achievement still gained.
- Some poster anomalies are glaringly evident. In the poster, the helicopter looks like a military issued MH-53 helicopter but in-game it is clearly of civilian registration. The poster also depicts it as being crashed on its front, when the actual helicopter crashed on its side. Finally, the poster features heavy fire or daylight lightning whereas the campaign takes place at night using lighting conditions similar to those experienced in Death Toll.
- This campaign's coding appears to reflect deadline driven or creative experimentation DLC production values as some areas are randomly blocked off that sometimes contain items, car alarm locations change, deep water instantly killing anyone who goes in it, and weapons spawn sporadically rather than in groups.
- A "Crash Course" is a quick lesson on something. The campaign probably got this name because the Survivor's crashed in the beginning, it is a short campaign and Valve developed it under urgency to meet a marketing deadline.
- Due to Crash Course's short length, some players utilize it to complete several full-campaign achievements which would otherwise be extremely difficult to do in other campaigns (e.g.) Nothing Special, Akimbo Assassin, etc.
- There is a reference to the popular British comedy show I.T. Crowd when Louis during the Truck Depot Finale utters one of Roy's phrases by "Have you tried turning it on and off again?".
- Tanks and Witches seem to spawn much more frequently in the first chapter. This is probably done deliberately to create a more intense experience and to compensate for the chapter's short length.
- There are inconsistent references in the Survivor's saga between the time of their escaping in the armored truck and the start of the Death Toll campaign. Francis, for example, makes no reference to this vehicle in the subsequent (2010) The Sacrifice comic. However, he does say that the helicopter crashed.
- In the ported version of this campaign, a glitch exists in the finale while playing the Last Man on Earth mutation. The second Tank may appear before the generator turns off. After killing him, Skin On Our Teeth will play, however the generator still needs to be restarted to lower the truck to the ground and escape.
- An identical armored truck reappears at the start of the independently developed campaign I Hate Mountains. Instead heading for Riverside, the survivors are shown to have traveled to Canada.